It’s been a month since I gave birth to my daughter, Abigail. Everytime I look at my baby, I’m always brought to those crazy waiting days and of course, to that day when she was born. I’m still amazed of everything. I’m amazed of how nature took its course, and amazed of the work of God. Let me share a little bit about her birth story.
At my 37-week check up, I was so thrilled when doctor said I was 1 cm dilated. After he did an internal examination, he said everything was okay and I should expect a natural labour. So I thought I was just close to having my baby there already.
Then days went by and came 38 weeks, baby wasn’t there yet. And everybody started asking. I was cool at first but then some people’s comments were just too annoying and whilst I was also too sensitive. And I tell you, these two weren’t a perfect combination for making a pregnant woman stay calm and positive.
Then came 39 weeks. Baby was still happily playing around inside my womb. I kept wondering how labour contractions felt like. Everytime I felt a few mild contractions, I really hoped they got stronger and more regular. And when they got just a little more regular and a little stronger I said to myself, “Can this be a sign of true contractions? Am I there yet? Is it time?” I have to admit I was once fooled by a false alarm. Husband and I went to the hospital and were sent back home because the contractions weren’t strong enough. So we went home and there was no baby yet.
And time passed by… I was 40 weeks along! My due date! Apparently, no matter how often I talked to Abigail when she was still in my womb and asked her to just show up already, she stayed inside sticking to her own agenda. She liked being inside mama’s womb. And I got anxious. My husband and doctor were probably the only people whom I wanted to listen to. Doctor said there was nothing to worry about the baby because she was perfectly healthy inside. And my husband was very encouraging and realistic as he had always been.
Doctor also said that my placenta had undergone an ageing process, which was perfectly normal, and he said that it was okay to wait for the baby for another week. He told us to consider inducing the labour to avoid risks that might appear if the baby didn’t show up at 41 weeks. We suddenly felt a rush of relief when the doctor said that. We were looking at the finish line, finally.
I really, really hoped that the baby would come out without the labour being induced. I desperately waited for true labour contractions to come. A full week went by, however, we were at no luck.
I was 41 weeks along. I was still having mild contractions. We were prepping ourselves for an induced labour.
On 26 March 2013, we went to the hospital, straight to the observation room. Thank goodness I was 3 cm dilated and fully effaced. Doctor predicted that it wouldn’t take too long for the labour to start after being induced. He said, “Normally about 3 hours.”
We started the inducement intravenously at 1 pm but I was still having mild contractions at 7 pm. Hahahaha. It had been 6 hours already! Well, no wonder I was nowhere close to labour because I was still able to walk and move, sing and laugh with my husband who was always with me all day. And then a midwife came to do an internal examination and told me I was only 3.5 cm dilated. Whaatttt? Those 6 hours of drug only resulted in 0.5 cm progress? Reallyyyy? I started to stress out a little but still tried to relax. I knew some women waited overnight.
At 8pm, while Husband was trying to get me into conversations in order to distract me from being over-anxious, suddenly there was a gush inside my tummy. And then water came out… That was when I realised that my water just broke (thank God it was still clear!) And everything went really fast after that. Really, really fast! I was examined and midwife said I was 4 cm dilated. Then I knew true contractions were coming to me because I couldn’t move or talk or whatever. Yet I couldn’t describe how those contractions felt like. They were just beyond words could say. As far as I remember, I was desperately trying to hold the pain. I was groaning like crazy. Parts of my body from my tummy down to my legs were in deep pain.
At 9pm I was 8 cm dilated. The pain was even stronger, probably the strongest in my whole life. Husband rubbed my back and begged that I didn’t push until I was 10 cm dilated. I really, really wanted to push, because the baby inside was also pushing out and trying to make her way out. I was groaning and praying. My husband was probably terrified.
At 9:30pm I was fully dilated and rushed to the delivery room. I was told to push and the midwife said I pushed wrong. I had attended pilates sessions and done pregnancy workouts, gone to classes but I still got it wrong. Seriously?! (So it’s true what they say about losing our mind in the delivery room). And after several (many) combinations of correct and incorrect pushes, the baby was finally born at 10:40pm!! And I felt a big relief as I heard her very big and loud cry.
Suddenly, I felt all those pains were gone. All the waiting, groaning, and pain have paid off. I looked at my little baby girl and was just amazed of all things. After she was born, she was brought to my chest for an early breastfeeding initiation. And I couldn’t hold the tears coming down my eyes. It was love at the first sight when her eyes met mine as if she was trying to say “Hey, mama, I’m here. Good to see you!” Well, I became a mama by then. And really, thank, God.
PS. My husband went through all these together with me. He was aware that pregnancy and labour, although they were beautiful, would often be accompanied by not-so-beautiful scenes.
PPS. The pushes were painful but the contractions I had before I was fully dilated were a lot more painful.
PPPS. Sorry for this gigantic post! Tee hee. I have to nurse my daughter now. Good night! x